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The Vietnam War: Reasons for Failure – Why the U.S. Lost



In the post-war era, Americans struggled to absorb the lessons of the military intervention. About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0871137992/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0871137992&linkCode=as2&tag=tra0c7-20&linkId=d1bb53399f448906b40e7c954de052ac

As General Maxwell Taylor, one of the principal architects of the war, noted, “First, we didn’t know ourselves. We thought that we were going into another Korean War, but this was a different country. Secondly, we didn’t know our South Vietnamese allies… And we knew less about North Vietnam. Who was Ho Chi Minh? Nobody really knew. So, until we know the enemy and know our allies and know ourselves, we’d better keep out of this kind of dirty business. It’s very dangerous.”

Some have suggested that “the responsibility for the ultimate failure of this policy [America’s withdrawal from Vietnam] lies not with the men who fought, but with those in Congress…” Alternatively, the official history of the United States Army noted that “tactics have often seemed to exist apart from larger issues, strategies, and objectives. Yet in Vietnam the Army experienced tactical success and strategic failure… The…Vietnam War…legacy may be the lesson that unique historical, political, cultural, and social factors always impinge on the military…Success rests not only on military progress but on correctly analyzing the nature of the particular conflict, understanding the enemy’s strategy, and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of allies. A new humility and a new sophistication may form the best parts of a complex heritage left to the Army by the long, bitter war in Vietnam.”

U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote in a secret memo to President Gerald Ford that “in terms of military tactics, we cannot help draw the conclusion that our armed forces are not suited to this kind of war. Even the Special Forces who had been designed for it could not prevail.” Even Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara concluded that “the achievement of a military victory by U.S. forces in Vietnam was indeed a dangerous illusion.”

Doubts surfaced as to the effectiveness of large-scale, sustained bombing. As Army Chief of Staff Harold Keith Johnson noted, “if anything came out of Vietnam, it was that air power couldn’t do the job.” Even General William Westmoreland admitted that the bombing had been ineffective. As he remarked, “I still doubt that the North Vietnamese would have relented.”

The inability to bomb Hanoi to the bargaining table also illustrated another U.S. miscalculation. The North’s leadership was composed of hardened communists who had been fighting for independence for thirty years. They had defeated the French, and their tenacity as both nationalists and communists was formidable. Ho Chi Minh is quoted as saying, “You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours…But even at these odds you will lose and I will win.”

The Vietnam War called into question the U.S. Army doctrine. Marine Corps General Victor H. Krulak heavily criticised Westmoreland’s attrition strategy, calling it “wasteful of American lives… with small likelihood of a successful outcome.” In addition, doubts surfaced about the ability of the military to train foreign forces.

Between 1965 and 1975, the United States spent $111 billion on the war ($686 billion in FY2008 dollars). This resulted in a large federal budget deficit.

More than 3 million Americans served in the Vietnam War, some 1.5 million of whom actually saw combat in Vietnam. James E. Westheider wrote that “At the height of American involvement in 1968, for example, there were 543,000 American military personnel in Vietnam, but only 80,000 were considered combat troops.” Conscription in the United States had been controlled by the President since World War II, but ended in 1973.”

By war’s end, 58,220 American soldiers had been killed, more than 150,000 had been wounded, and at least 21,000 had been permanently disabled. According to Dale Kueter, “Sixty-one percent of those killed were age 21 or younger. Of those killed in combat, 86.3 percent were white, 12.5 percent were black and the remainder from other races.” The youngest American KIA in the war was PFC Dan Bullock, who had falsified his birth certificate and enlisted in the US Marines at age 14 and who was killed in combat at age 15. Approximately 830,000 Vietnam veterans suffered symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. An estimated 125,000 Americans fled to Canada to avoid the Vietnam draft, and approximately 50,000 American servicemen deserted. In 1977, United States President Jimmy Carter granted a full, complete and unconditional pardon to all Vietnam-era draft dodgers. The Vietnam War POW/MIA issue, concerning the fate of U.S. service personnel listed as missing in action, persisted for many years after the war’s conclusion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War

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U.S. Economic Collapse: Henry B. Gonzalez Interview, House Committee on Banking and Currency



Henry Barbosa González (born Enrique Barbosa González; May 3, 1916 — November 28, 2000) was a Democratic politician from the state of Texas. He represented Texas’s 20th congressional district from 1961 to 1999.

González was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Mexican-born parents Genoveva (née Barbosa) and Leonides Gonzalez (from Mapimi, Durango), who had immigrated during the Mexican Revolution. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and San Antonio College, earning his undergraduate degree. Later, he received a Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law. Upon graduation, he became a probation officer, and was quickly promoted to the chief office of Bexar County, Texas. In 1950, he was Scoutmaster of Troop 90 of San Antonio, of which his son was a member.

González served on the San Antonio City Council from 1953 to 1956, when he was elected to the Texas Senate, having defeated the Republican candidate, Jesse Oppenheimer. He remained in the Senate until 1961 and set the filibuster record in the chamber at the time by speaking for twenty-two straight hours against a set of bills on segregation. Most of the bills were abandoned (eight out of ten). He ran for governor in 1958, finishing second in the Democratic primary (the real contest for governor in a solidly Democratic state) to Price Daniel. In January 1961, González ran in the special election for Lyndon Johnson’s Senate seat, finishing sixth. However, in September, 20th District Rep. Paul J. Kilday was appointed to the Court of Military Appeals. González ran in the special election for the San Antonio-based district in November and defeated a strong Republican candidate, John Goode. He was unopposed for a full term in 1962 and was reelected seventeen times. He never faced truly serious or well-funded opposition, having been unopposed in 1970, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, and 1984. In fact, the 20th was (and still is) became so heavily Democratic that González faced GOP opposition only five times and handily won each time.

González became known for his liberal views. In 1963, Rep. Ed Foreman (R-Texas) called González a “communist” and a “pinko” and González confronted him. González was referred to as a “communist” in 1986 by a man at Earl Abel’s restaurant, a popular San Antonio eatery. The 70 year-old representative responded by punching him in the face. González was acquitted of assault for this incident.

González chaired the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations that investigated the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. He introduced legislation calling for the impeachment of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. González also blocked hearings into Whitewater until finally agreeing to hold hearings in 1994. In 1997, González fell ill and was unable to return to the House for over a year. Finally, he decided not to run for a 19th full term in 1998. He had long groomed his son, Charlie, to succeed him. Charlie Gonzalez won easily in 1998 and still holds the seat; between them, father and son have served 50 consecutive years in Congress (as of November 2011). He was an outspoken critic of the Federal Reserve System and in 1993 proposed an audit of the central bank.

According to Gretchen Morgenson’s book on the 2008 financial meltdown, “Reckless Endangerment,” while head of the House Banking Committee, Gonzalez invited the organization ACORN “to help legislators define the goals when they were devising the new legislation covering Fannie and Freddie.”

On October 24, 2006, it was announced that Rep. González’s personal notes, correspondence and mementos would become part of the Congressional History Collection at the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for American History.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Gonzalez

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Did Humans Evolve From Aquatic Mammals? | Mermaids



Humans are among some of the strangest land mammals. For starters we can hold our breath underwater longer than any other creature and babies instinctively hold their breath under water. Could humans have once called the sea home?

Watch more MERMAIDS video: http://animal.discovery.com/videos/mermaids/#mkcpgn=ytapl1

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